History and development of Sport Psychology in Latin America

Lenamar Fiorese *, Renan Codonhato *, José Roberto Andrade Do Nascimento Júnior **, Alejandro García-Más *** and João Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci */****/*****

(*) Physical Education Department, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Brazil
(**) Physical Education Department, Federal University of São Francisco Valley, Petrolina, Brazil
(***) Department of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain
(****) Duke Emergency Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, United States
(*****) Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States


Fiorese, L., Codonhato, R., Roberto Andrade Do Nascimento Júnior, J., García-Más, A., Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci, J. (2020). History and development of Sport Psychology in Latin America. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51(5), 528-544. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2020.51.528


The present study aimed to investigate the historical course of the sport psychology (SP) field and its development in Latin America. The keywords “history,” “sport psychology,” and related terms were searched for in Web of Science, ScienceDirect, LILACS, and Scielo databases, as well as Google Scholar and other manual searches to find scientific articles, book chapters, dissertations and other documents describing the history of SP in Latin American countries. Information was found for 15 Latin American countries. Drawing from the important data present in these works, the history of SP in this continent is presented in four periods that encompass its initial period (1930-1960), advancements in the applied and scientific field (1960-1980), consolidation of SP (1980-2000), and the recognition of SP (after 2000). The roots of SP in Latin America, its characteristics, factors driving its expansion and the actual state of SP are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Latin America, history. sport psychology